Try your hand at baking Dutch windmill cookies. Also known as speculaas or speculoos cookies, they’re traditionally baked for St Nicholas’ feast in the Netherlands, Belgium and Northern France and for Christmas in Germany. However, these spicy biscuits are a great treat all year round!
About Dutch windmill cookies
Dutch windmill cookies, also known as speculaas, are spicy biscuits traditionally baked on or just before St Nicholas’ feast, held on the 5th of December.
They are usually cut or stamped into some image or figure (usually a windmill or windmill sails) and the name comes from the wooden moulds used to make the pattern.
Sadly we didn’t have a cookie stamp to hand, (although we later found some great windmill cookie cutters and moulds on Etsy), so ours were made with a standard round cookie cutter. So why not make your own ‘stamp’ (sorry, not sorry) on this classic Dutch recipe using whatever you have at home?
Oh and you don’t have to wait until Christmas to enjoy these gorgeous biscuits – these spice biscuits are delicious whatever the month, so why not give them a go now by following our recipe below…
Dutch Windmill Cookies Ingredients
125g unsalted softened butter
125g soft light brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Pinch of salt
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
85g flaked almonds
1 tsp baking powder/baking soda
Speculaas spice mix recipe:
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground ginger
How to make your Dutch Speculaas
Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
Place the butter and sugar into a large bowl or stand mixer and beat together until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and salt and mix well.
Sift in the flour, spices and baking powder and form your dough. This is quite a sticky dough so don’t panic too much if you feel you need to add more flour, as once it’s rested it will be fine!
Wrap the dough in cling film/plastic wrap and leave to chill in the fridge for at least six hours.
Remove the dough from the fridge a little before you need it to allow time for it to reach room temperature.
Line two baking trays with baking paper/baking parchment.
Using a dusted rolling pin, roll out the dough on a floured work surface – I rolled mine to 2cm/ 1 inch thick, as the cookies do rise a little.
Use a floured cookie cutter to cut out your speculaas, then scatter over the almonds and press into the top of your biscuits.
Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes or until golden brown, before leaving to cool.
We’re planning on publishing more recipes from around the world in the coming months; if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see us cover please do let us know in the comments below.
Where to buy speculaas cookies
Oh, and if things don’t go so well, you can always buy classic speculaas cookies online and also Biscoff biscuits, which are actually a version of speculoos cookies. But in our opinion home-baked goodies are always the best…
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This recipe has been adapted from 1001 Cupcakes, Cookies & Tempting Treats cookbook.